not until next year, I’m already gearing up to take part in Fun a Day Dundee (FADD)
for the third time. This is the local chapter of a global project that
encourages participants to undertake something creative during the month of
January. It happens at a time of year when professional artists and creators often
struggle after the Christmas rush.
I first learnt of FADD in 2017, although the group has been running since 2011. A few of my artist friends were taking part, some working on a different piece every day for the 31 days, others concentrating on one or more larger projects during this time.
friends told me I should take part the following year, but I had some reservations:
I’m not a painter, a model-maker, a jeweller, nor anything similar. Rather, my
craft is writing words in pencil or pen on lined paper.
Rationally, I knew I was welcome, while still feeling like a misfit. As such, I hesitated in signing up, only registering my interest on the first day: 1 January 2018.
off with the intention of producing one piece of prose or poetry each day of the
month, with provision to create side projects if something else occurred to me that
I wanted to try out. Four days into FADD, I created my first such side project
and something extraordinary happened.
In late December, I’d ordered a watch strap from Amazon, and it arrived in early January with six wasteful feet of brown paper cushioning stuffed into a needlessly large box. But inspired by the artists of FADD posting their work on Instagram and Twitter, I straightened out the paper and kept it aside for the public exhibition. I then planned to invite visitors to write down their own stories of corporate waste on that sheet of paper.
addition of that piece and my other side projects, the exhibition display
looked so much more colourful and engaging than simply a folder full of black
or blue ink on cream paper, and visitors did indeed fill the paper with anecdotes.
But more than that, this piece in particular gave me a direction for my 2019 project, where I still wrote words, but on recycled material. The surfaces used included used envelopes, expired tickets, and even the sole of a worn-out Dr Marten boot; anything except fresh lined paper.
In 2020, I
have every intention of taking the recycling theme one stage further. The finer
details will be worked out nearer the time, but the project will include
actively destroying some of what I wrote in 2018 and 2019, and encouraging the
public to do the same.
Whatever happens, however, I will make sure I have fun doing it, just as the name suggests.